Donohoe and related families (1)


The research, and the records that I have obtained on my family and related families, has taken over fourteen years and fourteen trips to Ireland. The information was obtained by visiting churches, local historians, and court records offices.

A lot of the information was obtained before research information was popular on the internet, but I have to admit that personal meetings with various people was fun.

In the process, I discovered eight major families related to my family, all starting in Ireland.

My main pursuit was for the parents on my great-grandfather, and his wife Margaret O’Donnell. Local memories tell me that Thomas was originally from near Killarney; his wife Margaret, Cloncannon, County Offaly. Thomas and Margaret were married in Edenderry, Co. Offaly. Margaret was born in 1831; Thomas between 1838 and 1840. They were married in St. Mary’s Church, Edenderry in 1862. Two sons, James E. and Patrick Michael (“Mic”) and one daughter, Catherine.

James E. came to America at the age of 13, with a family named Mulligan, but before the opening of Ellis Island. James headed for West Virginia, where work was abundant, due to the railroads building tunnels through the mountains. He first married Julie O’Donnell (cousin of Margaret) who died from tuberculosis after having two sons, Eugene and William. His second marriage was to Mary Ellen Giblin, County Mayo.

On the marriage of my great-grand father Thomas, Margaret and he moved on the O’Donnell farm in Cloncannon. There were two brothers in residence on the farm, Michael and Thomas. The last survivor on the farm was Margaret who died in 1898. This information was from county records.

Other families who are related are, Burke, Boyle(three separate unrelated families) Nash, Giblin, Kearns.

The computer listing enclosed with my records are for the O’Donaghues. I experienced difficulty in getting information on this group and it wasn’t until my last trip that i learned that the name O’Donaghue, was originally donohoe. It was changed in 1940 so “to make the name more irish”. I chased the wrong name for all that time but there is no doubt that we are related; they farmed formerly the farm of Margaret and one other piece of land. Many recalled my grandfather James E. And a few of the O’Donnells. We had a re-union in Milwaukee in 1998, and some came from Ireland for that affair. I have asked for some of the information of dates etc. But even though they say it will be forthcoming, i’ll still waiting. The information i have on this group was provided by their families, so there doesn’t appear to be any problem with the information.

An interesting point is that with my grandfather, James E.
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Working on the railroad, he eventually became a foreman. In Ireland, all of the families lived within about a sixty mile radius of each other. As these families came to America, about the same radius exists her in America, again for the same families. He was apparently hiring relatives for the railroad work.

Some families (Nash) settled in Western Pennslyvania; Boyles, Mt. Savage, Maryland; Boyle, Parkersburg , West Virginia; Giblin, Terra Alta, West Virginia; the Giblins got to America via Roscommon, Stokestown, Co. Mayo, Rowlesburg, West Virginia; and finally Terra Alta, West Virginia. The Kearns settled in Ashland, Kentucky.

While there are donohoes in Cavan, north of Offaly, I have not been able to connect these two groups, and the O’Donaghues maintain that there isn’t any connection.

Vincent j. Donohoe
Wauwatosa, wisconsin
May 13, 2003


May 2003
Chapter: others
County: Kerry

Specific research interests